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In video - Israel demolishes Palestinian-owned building in Jerusalem

Jan. 30, 2019 12:18 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 31, 2019 3:21 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned building in the Wadi al-Juz neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, on Wednesday.

Khalid al-Malhi, whose family owns the demolished building, told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli soldiers and municipality staff raided and surrounded the building before emptying part of its contents and carrying out the demolition.

Al-Malhi said that Israeli municipality staff had delivered him a demolition notice, pointing out that his lawyer attempted to freeze the order but without avail.

The first floor of the two-story building was constructed 20 years ago, and has three stores while the second was built five years ago and has three housing apartments.

Israel uses the pretext of building without a permit to carry out demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes on a regular basis.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem, though the Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which also see high approval ratings.

For Jewish Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem's illegal settlements, the planning, marketing, development, and infrastructure are funded and executed by the Israeli government. By contrast, in Palestinian neighborhoods, all the burden falls on individual families to contend with a lengthy permit application that can last several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

According to Daniel Seidemann of the NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem, "since 1967, the Government of Israel has directly engaged in the construction of 55,000 units for Israelis in East Jerusalem; in contrast, fewer than 600 units have been built for Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the last of which were built 40 years ago. So much for (Jerusalem Mayor Nir) Barkat's claim 'we build for everyone.'"

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